Letter to the Editor

Editor’s note: The following was a letter written by Debra Roberts to Sen. Joni Ernst in response to the Brett Kavanaugh hearing.


Sen. Ernst,

I am forwarding on to you a letter that I sent to Senator Grassley. Now that the Kavanaugh nomination is moving to the full Senate I feel that you need to know my thoughts as well...

I was born in 1960. I graduated from Thomas Jefferson Senior High School in Cedar Rapids, at the age of 17. I was not old enough to drink and therefore as a Catholic, law-obeying citizen I did not drink. However, you may not remember what the laws were in a state of flux at that time. The legal age was 18. When I got to 18, the law changed to 19. When I got to 19, the law changed to 21. Therefore my high school friends were able to drink for four solid years before I was able to legally have a single drink.

According to Maryland law, “Prior to 1973, the minimum age to buy or possess alcoholic beverages was 21 years old. In 1973, the minimum age was decreased to 18 years old in Montgomery County and Prince George's County. In 1974, the minimum age was decreased to 18 years old for the entire state. In 1982, the minimum age was increased to 21 years old but with a 'grandfather' clause which allowed those who had already turned 18 (born June 30, 1964, or earlier) to consume beer and wine.” Wikipedia.

Judge Kavanaugh was born in 1965, and according to Maryland law he was unable to drink until 1986. But over the last several days I have heard him repeatedly flaunt the fact that he repeatedly and frequently broke the law. Yet, he is to be elevated to a Supreme Court Justice, for the rest of his life.

Because of his privilege somehow he was never arrested with underage drinking or public intoxication. But kids I knew were, and it affected them for a long time, as driving privileges were stripped away; then they had to pay for SR 22 insurance for a very long time.

You have repeatedly held this man up as the finest of his generation, but what is he saying to the 17 year olds of this generation? Pick and choose the laws you want to enforce IF you come from wealth and privilege?

He is not a fine example of the highest morals.

You should be ashamed. Or did you drink and carry on this way and never get caught?

Senator Ernst, what are we saying to the average person who got caught, and then because of the penalties they paid, that kept them from going on to college, let alone the elite Yale? Are we echoing Donald Trump’s “I like people who don’t get caught?”

Debra Roberts,